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When Your Dreams for life are not the Same as Your Husband's?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I recently came to discover somethng about myself. I do not at this time want to live the normal suburban life. I really want to get out of normal society and travel, do the nomad thing while our kids are still young and can learn from our travels. I am miserable when I stay in one place too long. We bought a house and I get physically sick thinking I am stuck here for 30 years.

My husband is miserable. He hates the rat race. He would like to stay home and write or something. But that is apparently the only way our dreams are even close to the same. Honestly I don't even think my husband has any hopes or dreams. I think he can't think outside the box, he was brought up to think the mainstream life is the only life.

I have been dropping little hints to my husband about my dreams and each time I am shot down. I can't bear the thought of letting my dreams go and I couldn't bear the thought of losing my husband either.

What do I do? Do I shackle myself to a life I hate, that makes me miserable just for my husband's sake? How do I let it go with out dying, no not physical death but emotional death.

Am I selfish? Yes I guess I am. But on the same note isn't my husband being selfish too if he will not even entertain my ideas?

I guess I am stuck.
post #2 of 15
You need to start by having a real conversation about this and not just dropping hints.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I guess dropping hints is not the right term. My husband does not like to have talks so I just get short little comments in here and there.
post #4 of 15
You need to have a real conversation about it. More than one. You have to let him know how serious this is for you.
post #5 of 15
I suggest having this conversation with a neutral third party (marriage counselor or family therapist) present.

You might also try to think of and write down possible compromises that would suit both of your needs. For instance, maybe your husband isn't open to selling the house and spending a year on the road, but but he would be open to taking more short trips. Or, maybe you would enjoy trying new hobbies/activities for your family. There are a lot of ways to be spontaneous and express different interests besides the nomad lifestyle.
post #6 of 15
I agree with the others, but would like to add that sometimes it's really hard to see the "big picture dreams" when one is stuck in the "rat race". I find it's easiest to wax philosophical when we're outside of our normal environment and routine - like on vacation, for example. Even just getting out of the city for the day can sometimes provide enough of a distraction from "real life" to see things differently.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostlykisses View Post
Honestly I don't even think my husband has any hopes or dreams. I think he can't think outside the box, he was brought up to think the mainstream life is the only life.

.
This is the situation I am in with my husband. Marrying him was a mistake, but not a bad one, because the dynamics of our relationship allow me to make certain I do not have to live with a choice I hate permanently.

I put my foot down about where we live- told him I would only live here in the city for X amount of time. It helps that I am willing to actually up and go, though, and he knows that it isn't bluffing.

I hope that you can find some joy in your current situation.
post #8 of 15
Sorry. I guess you know that you should have talked all this out with your spouse before he was your spouse.

Now, you can get counseling. You can introduce him to other nomads, see if anything clicks for him. You can agree to stay put only until the children go to college.

I don't see many other options. The only folks I know who nomad like that are couples with no kids. They still have to make 20,000 a year or more through freelance writing or consulting to cover the cost of food and gas for the Rv. They can't camp just anywhere because the internet allows them to do their jobs remotely.

Good luck.
post #9 of 15
philomom, I know of people with kids who live the nomad lifestyle on very low incomes. My friend blogs about her family's journey at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly. They downsized to an RV and had it converted to run on veggie oil, which they can usually get for free from restaurants.

It doesn't sound like this lifestyle would be a good fit for the original poster's husband, but I wanted to say that it is possible.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
It is very much possible for families and you would be shocked at how many families are living on the road. Check out familiesontheroad.com
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
This is the situation I am in with my husband. Marrying him was a mistake, but not a bad one, because the dynamics of our relationship allow me to make certain I do not have to live with a choice I hate permanently.

I put my foot down about where we live- told him I would only live here in the city for X amount of time. It helps that I am willing to actually up and go, though, and he knows that it isn't bluffing.

I hope that you can find some joy in your current situation.

Yeah that is one thing, I would not be willing to actually walk away. I will probably get myself counseling to try and put my dreams to rest and try to live out the life that I have made with my husband and kids. Plenty of women before me gave up their dreams for their family, so I guess I am not alone. It just hurts when you thought you had similar dreams but then find out you really don't after 10 years.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostlykisses View Post
My husband is miserable. He hates the rat race. He would like to stay home and write or something. But that is apparently the only way our dreams are even close to the same. Honestly I don't even think my husband has any hopes or dreams. I think he can't think outside the box, he was brought up to think the mainstream life is the only life.
Why don't you start by trying to find out more about your husband's dreams? It doesn't sound like you know them very well, but it does sound like he is also feeling unfulfilled.

If you offer him support for his dreams he may do the same for yours. You may not end up as full-time nomads but perhaps you can find other solutions that work for both of you.
post #13 of 15
You need to talk to your husband. It doesn't have to be one way or the other. Maybe your husband could take a few months off and you could live on the road. Maybe you could agree to travel to a different country for one month every year. Maybe you need to just put it on hold until the kids move out and you're both retired. Maybe you can start saving and in a few years, take a year off and travel and your husband can write while you're travelling - who knows, maybe he'll end up writing an awesome travel guide or memoir.

I think you should get over the 'victim mentality' because otherwise it's just going to breed resentment.
post #14 of 15
I'd take some baby steps to making changes in your life. Maybe life on the road is not something that he's comfortable with, but do you have the ability to take your kids on an extended trip each year? Can he join you for part of that? Does it have to be all or nothing?
post #15 of 15
I feel a little like a poseur for responding, because I'm much closer to the OP's side of the conversation than I am to having any real answers. But I'll throw my two cents in anyway. In short, I've developed this fantasy lifestyle that's very different from what is happening in real life. I want to live more simply, more frugally, and more rurally; I want to be as self-sufficient as possible even if it means giving up many of the luxuries we've come to accept as ordinary. I've come to it over many years, but now that I'm feeling the urgency of action I see the enormous disconnect between me and my husband. My first impulse was to lay that at his feet, because I've been tweaking my life (and my kids lives) in this direction for a while now and I feel like he hasn't noticed, really. But I'm seeing now that I've never addressed it plainly. I've never said, "This is what I need. This is what I hope for. What do you think? Is there a way we can build this together?" For some reason, that's really, really difficult for me to do. So I'm trying to break it down, and instead of focusing on what I think it will look like in a year or two, I'm trying to focus on the small truths I am certain of right now. I want to step back from a soul-draining job; I want to spend more time with the kids and the family; I want to get out of a mortgage that requires two full-time incomes. And I'm trying to speak these truths to my husband, out loud and in plain English so he doesn't have to put any effort into finding the trail of hints I think I've been leaving for him. I'm not sure what the response will be.

In my searching I've come across a really inspirational story (and woman): simplymartini.com. Her change was enormous (leaving her marriage) but there is much to take away even if that's a step that's not on one's radar. Good luck.
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